Sequester Hits

Friday, March 01, 2013

Fred Kaplan, War Stories columnist for Slate and author of The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War, talks about the sequester's dramatic impact on the military.


Fred Kaplan

Comments [29]

Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

THE SEQUESTER is Obama's baby ..... Jack Lew devised it and Barry forced its adoption. Now we will all suffer from it.

This arrogant Empty Suit with an Attitude should be impeached.

Mar. 01 2013 04:42 PM
Noach (Independent, Anti-Corporate Traditionalist) from Brooklyn

It was Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican, who warned of the interests of the "military-industrial complex" being allowed to trump those of the rest of the nation.

Mar. 01 2013 11:17 AM
Noach (Independent, Anti-Corporate Traditionalist) from Brooklyn

For a prime example of G.O.P hypocrisy on "the cycle of welfare dependency", put the following string into your favorite search engine:
'Gingrich "Lockheed Martin"' for

Mar. 01 2013 11:06 AM

There's a coming generational/libertarian backlash against Israel. When that takes place in this country, and support for Israel is withdrawn, there won't even be an Israel. Give it, maybe, 10 years. I know that Israel lovers don't like to hear it but they're free to delude themselves.

Mar. 01 2013 11:06 AM
jgarbuz from Queens


The US is not subsidizing Israel. It is subsidizing Boeing and Lockeed Martin and their workers producing planes and helicopters for Israel. As well as twice as many for the Arab countries. The US taxpayer is subsidizing US manufacturing jobs. Get your facts straight.

Mar. 01 2013 10:53 AM

More to the point, we could save a BOATLOAD of money if we just quit SUBSIDIZING israel.

Mar. 01 2013 10:40 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

The US military could cut a lot of costs by buying ISRAELI made military equipment, which is quite good and is developed at a fraction of the cost of R&D in the US. I know this from my experiences in Israeli hi-tech from the 1980s. However, that would mean the loss of US jobs. One of the simple facts that I learned is that huge US defense companies will not bother developing anything unless the profits can be measured in hundreds of millions of dollars if not billions. I was tangentially involved in a small Israeli radar to be used by ground troops that Elbit, Ltd. wanted to sell the Marines for $100,000 a piece at that time. The US had nothing like it for under $500,000. No company in the US is going to work for peanuts, but small innovative Israeli companies are quite satisfied with "peanuts." Of course, Pentagon purchasing officers don't get promotions or jobs after retirement in Israeli companies. If they want to get a good job after they retire, they have to play ball with the big US defense manufacturers, who demand big profits or they don't bother.

Mar. 01 2013 10:32 AM

@Bob, folks at the Pentagon don't lose their jobs. People like me who work for dense contractors do. I don't live in DC, I live in NY. I have a mortgage, bills,...etc and they want their payments just like everybody else.

Mar. 01 2013 10:31 AM

@Bob, folks at the Pentagon aren't the only ones who lose their jobs. People like me who work for dense contractors do. I don't live in DC, I live in NY. I have a mortgage, bills,...etc and they want their payments just like everybody else.

Mar. 01 2013 10:31 AM

Mr. Kaplan has just realized that the DOD has been using Hollywood movie accounting for a long time now. They're never out of money, but they never have enough. & they always have the Top Secret/Covert slush funds.

Also, Brian - read all of the Senate bill to give the POTUS "authorization" to make saner cuts. It also contains a review clause by the Senate GOP/McConnell. It's not quite as "generous" as it sounds.

Mar. 01 2013 10:29 AM
Bob from Brookyln

I'd like to see the unemployment ranks of defense contractors and weapons manufacturers increase.

Mar. 01 2013 10:29 AM

Why can't we pay attention to the life and death effects of the sequester?

"Boy, 6, Killed While Crossing Guard on Break: Source"

Mar. 01 2013 10:28 AM

...lemme get this straight.

The military is going to take a huge hit??


Mar. 01 2013 10:26 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

The Pentagon is a club for closet-case murderers. Cut more!!

Mar. 01 2013 10:22 AM
Fred the CPA from Bloomfield NJ

Pay the IRS by credit card

Mar. 01 2013 10:22 AM
Noach (Independent, Anti-Corporate Traditionalist) from Brooklyn

1.)This is just the kind of topic that someone like Andrew Bacevich is particularly suited to address.

Bacevich, a principled, _true_ conservative, is a West Point graduate who is both a Vietnam as well as Gulf War veteran.

2.) Will Glenn Greenwald, a _former_ Slate columnist, be on BL show anytime in the foreseeable future?

3.) What about Noam Chomsky, who was last on the BL show in 2009?

4.) What about acclaimed, investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill?

Bacevich, Greenwald, Chomsky and Scahill are at _least_ as qualified and capable of providing knowledgeable, substantive, stimulating information, insight and perspective on military matters.

Shouldn't the role of WNYC be to provide a platform for people who _challenge_ the power structure; the entrenched establishment? People who _challege_ the assumptions, notions, etc., that the masses cling-to?

To be, "The exception to the rulers"?, as the WBAI and/or Pacifica motto goes? (Putting aside what one may think of WBAI or Pacifica, and, believe, me, I have plenty of problems with both.)

Mar. 01 2013 10:21 AM
Jf from Ny

Money is not finite. The federal reserve could give all the money it invents as a private corporation to the government for its right to exist. Make inflation illegal if you need.

Mar. 01 2013 10:21 AM
pliny from soho

are we supposed to sit here and bemoan the fact
that the pentagon can't spend as much as it wants.

Mar. 01 2013 10:20 AM
Mike from Tribecaa

It's about time there were cuts in the bloated military budget, and I'm not at all surprised they will mostly effect working people and not the brass.

Mar. 01 2013 10:19 AM

I think it is a good this because it exposes the fraud and waste and bloated expenses of the defense department.

Mar. 01 2013 10:17 AM

I expect that your "fact checking" is up to the standards set in your coverage of the "gun control" issue?

(from that show's comments)
"Not satisfactory at all. {;-(

Ques.: Where does the "40% of firearms are purchased/transferred without lawful background checks" statistic come from?

Ans.: "EVERYBODY", i.e., the Obama administration and the "Brady" advocates, says this is true, and, seemingly as important, the NRA does not agree with that statistic.

An example of the investigative value of WNYC pseudo-journalism?

What would anyone contribute for that feckless effort to uncover the basis of public rumor? . . . "

(or listen to audio at 11:00 point)

Mar. 01 2013 10:16 AM

I work in the defense industry and the panic has set in mostly from middle management upward. Otherwise it's just rumor after rumor circulating among the ranks.

Mar. 01 2013 10:16 AM
Max from Northern NJ

(1) The United States' military budget is equal to the sum of the next twenty-six countries combined. Twenty-five of those are allies.

(2) Representative Maxine Waters of California, 22-year House veteran, ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, said that "over 170 million jobs that could be lost." There aren't that many jobs in America.

(3) The sequestered funds amount to 2.235% of the 2013 budget. Are Americans so dependent on their government that a cut of 2.235% will cause the hardship and calamity that is claimed?

Yes, to be sure, there will be cutbacks, but this fear mongering is reminiscent of the hoarding and hiding in the forest in the days before Y2K. Remember the Y2K panic? Me, neither.

Mar. 01 2013 10:16 AM
CBrown from Brooklyn

Is this method of budget cutting - cutting a percentage of each line item - only for the military cuts, or is it how they're cutting the non-military side as well?

Mar. 01 2013 10:14 AM

Here is another guy from the right telling us what a problem the military will have instead of what should be here...and that is "The military is way bloated and needs to be cut 50% immediately". I'm getting ready to change stations permanently if the undercover right wing bias doesn't start to come out of the closet.

Mar. 01 2013 10:13 AM
Tony from Canarsie

Brian, you started off by saying "You usually don't think of the Pentagon in terms of nuttiness."

Obviously, you've never been in the military. ;-)

Mar. 01 2013 10:11 AM

its no big deal...

Mar. 01 2013 10:09 AM
Martin Chuzzlewitm from Manhattan

Panetta: Defense budget cuts will damage economy – Feb 6, 2013

“Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Wednesday laid out a grim list of spending cuts the Pentagon will have to make in the coming weeks that he said will seriously damage the country's economy and degrade the military's ability to respond to a crisis. The Georgetown appearance was likely one of Panetta's last speeches.”


Mar. 01 2013 09:46 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

“The Air Force warned that it would cut operations at various missile defense radar sites from 24 hours to eight hours.”

LOL ... let’s ask Kim Jong to please launch his new ICBM and nuclear warhead between 9:00 AM and 5:00PM.


Mar. 01 2013 09:44 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.